Bellas, I’m still on a high from Rihanna’s concert in Chicago on Wednesday! Thanks to my friends at Roc Nation, I came back from the Bali Style Summit in NYC (more to come on that soon!) — got off the plane, showered and changed into my fiercest outfit, then headed over to see Rihanna, live in concert at the United Center!

Rihanna, images via Luvvie of

My husband is…shall we say…not so much into pop music in general. So right away I knew the perfect person to take with me. Luvvie! She was TOO excited to come too. Click here to read her review!

From the moment I got my tickets, I knew I was in for something special. Along with the tickets we were given pink wristbands for the riser section on the floor. Plush, luxurious, amazing seats for an amazing show!

The audience was abuzz with excitement. The atmosphere in the United Center was electric. Ladies and gents came out dressed to impress (and yes, as Luvvie pointed out, the high heel struggle was TOO real. Ladies, you can start with a sassy flat or a cute kitten heel if you can’t walk in stilettos, don’t let anyone make you feel otherwise!)

Rihanna’s opening act, BOB, was bouncy and fun. I love his energy and positivity. The ladies were loving Nothing On You, and he set the crowd up with high expectations for Ms. Fenty. AND when he randomly wound up sitting right next to Luvvie during Rihanna’s set, he was cool enough to take a photo with her! (I was too shy to ask myself, and trying to take pix of Rihanna and…ah well).

But hey, don’t Luvvie and I look cute? 😀

YES that is All of My Purple Life, on sale at on June 21, y’all!! (shameless plug)!

If I had to rank myself from 1 to 10 on a scale of Rihanna fandom, before this concert I would have given myself a six. As a Caribbean woman I think of Rihanna as my island sistren, a chick I would have known and been friends with back home growing up. I don’t tend to listen to a lot of pop music myself, so I can’t claim an intimate knowledge of all of her songs. But Rihanna has earned her position as the artist with the most number one singles on Billboard. Even if you think you don’t know many Rihanna songs, you’d be surprised at how many of her melodies are already lingering in your brain and how many of her lyrics you already know. And will wind up singing at the top of your lungs during her concert.

I encourage anyone who has complaints about the quality of Rihanna’s voice during a live performance, to try to duplicate what she does. Rih Rih works the stage from one end to the other. She engages her fans by singing to them, kneeling before them, giving random high fives, and – as you’ll see — running into the audience and around the whole crowd to play drums!

Rihanna plays drums and then sings Run This Town in Chicago from Patrice Yursik on Vimeo.

HOW AMAZING IS THAT, right?? We were like 10 feet away and everyone was going NUTS. In addition to her own songs, Rihanna did a Prince cover and teased a bit of The Glamorous Life right before her own Sheila E. inspired moment. I loved seeing her do her thing, especially so up close and personal!

Rihanna plays drums!

So what songs did Rihanna deliver at her epic concert in Chicago?

Pretty much in order it was:
* Only Girl in the World
* Disturbia
* Shut Up and Drive
* Man Down (MY JAM! Rumpapapum, rumpapapum, rumpapapum….)
* Cover of Prince’s “Darling Nikki”
* S & M
* Hard
* California King Bed
* Hate That I Love You
* What’s my Name?
* Rude Boy
* Please Don’t Stop the Music
* Take a Bow

* Love the Way You Lie
* Umbrella

My camera died. I’m so sorry!

I think Pon De Replay and maybe a few other songs were in Rihanna’s setlist as well. It was ALL HITS EVERYTHING. Nonstop action, nonstop fun, pyrotechnics and neon-clad dancers and sexy semi-strippers, and at the end fabulous confetti raining down on us all. Rihanna does minimal between-song banter, but the moments when Rihanna did speak to the crowd, she just seemed like a really sweet young woman who was genuinely thrilled at the love she was feeling from us all.

In Chicago outside after the show, the area by the Nivea bus became a raucous, spontaneous afterparty, complete with a dance off in a sweaty circle of scantily clad girls and boys. Walking down the street trying to find a taxi (which took FOREVER), random groups of teenage girls would burst into song as they walked or rode by in their cars. I know I’m not the only one in the Windy City who’s been humming Rihanna songs all week long. She definitely delivered the goods.

When Rihanna comes to your town, I’d definitely say GO if you’re looking for a highly enjoyable concert experience, the musical version of a summer blockbuster. I had an absolutely amazing time. And when you’re leaving, make sure to pass by the folks who are passing out free travel size cans of classic Nivea cream! I was SO GEEKED about that!

Thanks again to Roc Nation for taking care of me in such spectacular fashion.

Do you plan to see Rihanna on her Loud Tour? Click here to see if she’s coming to a city near you (and she probably is, homegirl is going EVERYWHERE this year!)


Lacoya (TheSuperCoya) says:
June 17, 2011, 7:52 am
So glad you had fun!!!!! Rihanna is my girl. When she first arrived on the scene, I wasn't SO sure how I liked her style. But what I have come to love her so much for, is her KNOWING this (that people like me felt that way), and her "Hate it or Love it" attitude. She really is being true to herself and her style and either you hate it, or you love it. She's not going to change just because people don't like it. She's Rihanna. What you see is what you get. I LOVE RIHANNA!
Cosmetic Passion says:
June 17, 2011, 8:02 am
Wasn't planning on going to her concert, but now you're making me reconsider! LOl....On another note, lovin' that purple lip color!! :) Khadine
tiashauntee says:
June 17, 2011, 12:49 pm
I agree with Cosmetic Passion, I like Rihanna but wasn't planning on going to the concert but this review has me curious.
pets says:
June 17, 2011, 1:24 pm
Love the lipstick!! Sounds like you and Luvvie had a blast and you both look it too. Your hair looks amazing. I listen to some of her songs so thanks for this.
Heaven says:
June 17, 2011, 1:54 pm
Will be at her concert in Barbados in August
warrior11209 says:
June 17, 2011, 6:04 pm
I thought that I was not a fan until my daughter gave me her latest cd and just like you said - there were songs that I had exercised to and really enjoyed and had no clue that it was Rihanna. Great review! I will pass on the concert and let my kids go and enjoy . The lipglass is looking fierce
Purple says:
June 17, 2011, 6:17 pm
Wow! Rihanna is so unique. I love her voice and power.
foodfashionandflow says:
June 18, 2011, 12:24 am
I think Rihanna has such great style. I always wondered what her concerts were like and now I am curious enough to go to one.
Danielle says:
June 18, 2011, 9:37 pm
Loooovvvveee the lipstick color!!!! You make it look awesome, I dont know how it will look on me LOL. Great review- her camp should hook you up with some Reb'l Fleur for a giveaway :) Did you take that pic of her on the drums? If so- awesome shot!
genel blog says:
June 19, 2011, 2:18 pm
thank you so much, greetings.
JustSaying says:
June 20, 2011, 8:27 am
"I encourage anyone who has complaints about the quality of Rihanna’s voice during a live performance, to try to duplicate what she does. Rih Rih works the stage from one end to the other. She engages her fans by singing to them, kneeling before them, giving random high fives, and – as you’ll see — running into the audience and around the whole crowd to play drums!" Yet and still, how does this speak to the quality of her voice? She rarely receives criticism on the other performing aspects that you mentioned, just her voice. And many, if not all, performers "run from one side of the stage to the other," "give random high fives," all while sounding like actual singers. Glad you enjoyed the show, but next time keep your "challenges" to yourself, please.
bella says:
June 20, 2011, 9:13 am
Luvvie took the pic, I was shooting video at the same time so I couldn't do both!! Thanks Danielle!
bella says:
June 20, 2011, 9:17 am
Hey JustSaying, and welcome to my blog - noticed this is your first ever comment so I'm guessing you came over from Necole Bitchie! My statement speaks to the quality of her voice because despite putting on a VERY high energy show, Rihanna never sounded out of breath or tired. I've seen CeeLo several times in concert before and he gets out of breath very easily. I thought Rihanna remained in control of her voice and delivered a great live show. I go to MANY concerts and you're wrong. Not all performers are as active or deliver as much fan interactivity. But it's cool to criticize, I guess? I'm not a Rihanna stan by any means. I don't even own any of her albums. But she did put on a very fun live show. Not sure what "challenges" you're talking about. Either way, thanks for commenting...
paintgurl40 says:
June 20, 2011, 12:25 pm
loved your outfit...that luvvie is a trip! she always have cackling at my computer. i keep claiming i'm not a rihanna fan but i realized the other day i have too many of her songs on my mp3 to claim that i'm not a fan LOL...well to comment on the last post..if you saw her got ears, if you thought she gave you your money's worth then what's the issue?
paintgurl40 says:
June 20, 2011, 12:25 pm cackling
Sophia says:
June 21, 2011, 10:41 am
I kept going back and forth on going to the Rihanna concert. She came to Baltimore and not DC and the last time I jumped the gun and bought tickets to a show in Baltimore (SADE), then she opened one in DC. So I skipped the Rihanna show and now the more I read blogs on her concert, the angrier I get that I didn't travel to BMore to see it. Glad you had a great time! (And I'm still keeping fingers and toes crossed that she'll do a DC show sometime soon!)
Dad and Mom says:
June 21, 2011, 10:07 pm
I believe she performed in Trinidad a few years ago when she probably was still growing as an artiste. I am glad that you enjoyed her show and hope that she will return soon to T&T to perform again.Should she and Marchel Mantano ever do a soca song together ,THAT will be high energy. Dad&mom
Sweetheartswab says:
June 22, 2011, 12:54 am
OMG Bella! I was there too,in the seats right behind the little "lounge" area. it was so much fun and I agree people do give her a lot of slack for her voice but she sounded great live and i think everyone could enjoy it,I brung my boo and he had an enjoyable time! loved this post!!! :-)
greggo says:
July 14, 2011, 10:40 pm
I'll be at her concert in Barbados on august the 5th V.I.P $300.00 bds . WELL THAT IS THE LEAST VIP TICKET PURCHASE-LOLOLO BUT I GET MY DRINKS WITH THAT THO ALL NIGHT
greggo says:
July 14, 2011, 10:52 pm
I must say tho, Rihanna concert in Barbados where I do live , her concert is almost sold out already , the 1st day the $500.00 luxury vvip tickets came out , all 1500 was gone just like that, and the vip which is for $300.00 all was gone as well , and they print 4000, tickets for that section, and the stand all say 5 of them are all sold out the grounds well , do not even go there , that gone too i think it will hold like well over 10,000 persons, so oh i think they got only a few tickets left over i was told as they had to extend the $300.00 vip section